Zelenskyy’s address on Defenders Day of Ukraine

October 2,2023 1033
Zelenskyy’s address on Defenders Day of Ukraine

Fellow citizens! 

Dear people!

What can you do in a minute? What significance can it have for history? What momentous steps can be taken in this one minute? All these questions are evoked by both today’s date and the place where I am now. Behind me is the Golden Gate. Around me is modern Kyiv. And the thousand-year-old majestic gate that protected the entrance to the capital is behind.

In front of each of us and for the sake of each of us stand our modern-day guardians, our warriors along the frontline, who are defending our land today. Above the Golden Gate, the gate church of the Most Holy Theotokos was built that served as the heavenly protection of the city. The sky above us today is protected by the air defense forces and all our warriors, whose guardian is the Intercession.

In a way, I, our people, and our country are now at the crossroads of history. On the way to tipping points. Where, with the memory of the past, we create the present and write a new page of our destiny. This is especially clear and noticeable on this day – the Day of Defenders of Ukraine. A state holiday that has become a truly national holiday. A people’s holiday. A holiday of millions of Ukrainians who defend their land and do not stop for a single moment. And today, at 9 a.m. sharp, as a sign of respect and gratitude to them, Ukraine will stop for one minute.

The central streets and squares of our cities, transport, all of us, no matter where we are, should stop and honor the memory of the fallen heroes. And thank all our defenders.

This time is a good opportunity to think about the important things. To remember the important things. To recall another minute – the first minute of the full-scale war. The minute that changed everything. Divided life into before and after February 24. Changed each of us. And the proof is the answers to the questions: who were we before February 24? Who are we now? Who should we become?

Full text of the address: Office of the President of Ukraine


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